Thursday, 29 October 2015


I decided to have a short visit to Holy Island this morning and was striding through the dunes by 8 o'clock. The weather was grey and hinted at dampness to come, perfect!, nothing was seen on the rarity radar but it was one of those days where you can just enjoy migration. The dunes were alive with the sights and sounds of wintering Thrushes, every bush held chattering masses, the air was filled with their calls. I eventually gave up counting and just enjoyed the spectacle but numbers did reach into the hundreds, Redwing( several hundred), Fieldfare(150+), Blackbird(several hundred).
Thrushes weren't the only migrants and during the morning I noted 8 Woodcock fresh in from the continent, 1 was flying up the main road from the Village to the car park and on Fenham Flats some 2500 Golden Plover were gathered.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

                                    A Varied Day in the Rain!

With the weather forecast promising drier conditions by 11 am,three of us decided to see what was around.
First stop at Fenham le Moor produced a lot of activity in the trees and bushes around the hide-Reed Bunting,Yellow Hammer,Tree Sparrow,Greenfinch and Linnet being of most interest.Into the hide and a solitary Barnacle Goose was spotted.It seemed in reasonable condition,preening and feeding in the same spot but when it turned ,an area of matted feathers and raw flesh was spotted above its right wing-shot?Texted this info to Mhairi McLaughlan.
The bird was still in the same spot when we left after an hour or so during which time we also recorded Brents,Goosander,Shelduck,Wigeon,Eider ,Gadwall, and a solitary Grey Plover.

Then it was off to Low Newton.On the the path to the hide the heavens opened and we arrived soaked to the skin.Lunch in the hide was accompanied by an orchestra  of around 200  noisy, restless Grey Lags plus the  constant roaring of the brushcutter being used on the reeds near the hide!Apart from Little Grebe,Grey Heron,Shoveller and Gadwall there was little else to keep us long.

With the light poor and the weather predictions proven badly wrong,we headed to Spindlestone Hide having heard from Winnie Banks earlier that Brambling had been spotted.A quick stop at Budle Bay turned up about 1500 plus Brents on the mud across the Bay to the North west;Shelduck,2 Little Egrets,Grey Plover ,Wigeon and a good number of Gadwall.Pink Feet were flying over,above the mist.

Spindlestone hide was next where a Red Squirrel,2 Nuthatch and a Marsh Tit  kept us amused for 20 minutes or so .Of the Brambling there was no sign ,but we were briefly joined by Charles Baker -Cresswell who left us some peanuts,seed and some hazelnuts to top up the feeders before we left.

As we emerged,the sun had broken through-finally!We agreed however there were many less enjoyable ways of spending a rainy day!